Causes of Air Pollution Essay Example


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Causes of Air Pollution

Air Pollution Essay: Introduction

Did you know that polluted air causes approximately 3.1 million premature deaths every year? (Babatola 162). Air pollution results in deaths and diseases worldwide, and it is harmful to all of us, including animals and the environment. Several reasons account for air pollution, which is created by toxic substances and gases in the atmosphere, usually from human-made sources. This paper analyzes the leading causes of air pollution and its impacts on humans and the environment. It is clear that air pollution is one of the main problems for the environment and people, and it should be reduced.

Body Paragraphs

We can divide the causes of air pollution into two parts. There are natural causes and the causes from human-made sources. However, human-made sources are primarily responsible for the air pollution around the world and worth analyzing. One of the prominent sources of air pollution is industrial emission; the proof for this is the increase in polluted air after the Industrial Revolution. Therefore, according to Ashmore (2005), it is no surprise that developing and industrializing countries such as India, Pakistan, and China suffer most from air pollution (Kulshrestha and Saxena 1). In addition to the industrial emission, vehicles also contribute to air pollution worldwide. Cars usually run by fossil fuels such as oil, and the emission resulted from them poses a high risk for clean air. For example, due to rapid urbanization, vehicle numbers in India skyrocketed between 1986 and 1991 from 9 million vehicles to 25 million personal vehicles (Kandlikar and Ramachandran 633). These vehicles caused a tremendous increase in fossil fuel usage. Last but not least, people directly contribute to air pollution with their daily acts. Domestic fuel combustion causes a lot of air pollutants (Kandlikar and Ramachandran 646). The stoves that we use each day still rely on coal, LPG, or natural gas. Besides, our houses rely on these sources for heating. Extensive use of these energy sources is the main reason for air pollution in urban areas. Smoking, the use of chemically produced cosmetics, deforestation (usually by humans), and mining operations conducted by people are also significant causes of air pollution worldwide.

We are the primary cause of air pollution but, we are also the ones who suffer from it the most as people generally live in emission-causing metropolitan cities. Air pollution causes respiratory diseases, cancer, and much more that result in death. Toxic air exposure affects mainly respiratory, cardiovascular, ophthalmologic, dermatologic, neuropsychiatric, hematologic, immunologic, and reproductive systems (Ghorani-Azam et al. para. 31). Short periods of exposure are not directly linked with health problems, however, growing up in polluted air (especially in big cities) considerably affects your general health. When investigated, citizens of industrial towns like Delhi live in suspended particle concentration of 400 (TSP 24-H), whereas in most US cities, this number is around 65-80 (Kandlikar and Ramachandran 656-57). This particle concentration's effects in the industrialized areas can be seen when looked into respiratory diseases. According to studies, trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer attributable to air pollution has seen a significant increase in the Western Pacific Region between 1990-2015 (Babatola 163). Other studies showed that lung cancer-related deaths are twice as much in England and Wales in urban cities compared to rural towns (Lave and Seskin 301). Air pollution also impacts our cardiovascular system. For example, carbon monoxide is one of the harmful substances in the atmosphere that causes air pollution. The high concentration of carbon monoxide interferes with oxygen transport to the tissues, causing them to malfunction (Folinsbee 49). This can even lead to several types of cancer, breathing, or sense disorders. One of the essential elements for the human body to function correctly is clean air and oxygen; polluted air and toxic substance concentration on the air we breathe are highly detrimental.

Air pollution also affects our environment negatively. Air quality is crucial to create sustainable and effective agriculture, the environment, and habitat. As air pollution happens in our environment first hand, it impacts our environment. From the greenhouse effect to acid rains, air pollution is generally the most significant cause of our environment's downfall. It is also accountable for climate change. Climate change is one of the Earth's biggest problems, and it's highly related to air pollution. It happens when the physical, chemical, or biological constituents in the environment change, and emission sources cause those changes. Therefore, we can say that air pollution is an indicator of climate change. Moreover, particulate matter (PM), which refers to hazardous substances existent in the air, can also cause acidification of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (Jyethi 9). This can lead to harmful acid rains as it is created by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the air. Acid rains destroy crops and plants, affect the fertility of the soil and weaken trees. Air pollution also causes a decrease in the plants' chlorophyll content, and this decrease results in less productive plants and the exhibition of poor vigor (Kulshrestha and Saxena 61). In addition to being less productive, changes in the air quality that enables plants and trees to grow can cause malnutrition, and harmful substances may exist in those plants while beneficial ones fall short. Any decrease in trees and plants' fertility or quality will result in a more flawed environment and higher air pollution because they help us reduce air pollution. Lastly, our environment hosts billions of life forms other than humans, and their well-being is put at risk if the air is highly polluted.

Air Pollution Essay: Conclusion

In conclusion, air pollution is one of our world's most critical issues, causing deaths and diseases worldwide and destroying our environment and animals. Different factors contribute to air pollution, but the most prominent one is human or human-made sources. Humans are also affected by air pollution the most. Yet its effects are not limited as air pollution causes environmental falls. This paper, therefore, analyzes the sources of air pollution and its harmful effects on humans and the environment. It is clear that air pollution is exceptionally detrimental for humans and the environment, and it should be reduced.


Babatola, Samuel Soledayo. "Global Burden of Diseases Attributable to Air Pollution." Journal of Public Health in Africa, vol. 9, no. 3, 21 Dec. 2018.

Balali-Mood, Mahdi, et al. "Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health and Practical Measures for Prevention in Iran." Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, vol. 21, no. 1, 2016, p. 65.

Folinsbee, Lawrence J. "Human Health Effects of Air Pollution." Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 100, 1 Apr. 1993, pp. 45–56.

Kandlikar, Milind, and Gurumurthy Ramachandran. "THE CAUSES and CONSEQUENCES of PARTICULATE AIR POLLUTION in URBAN INDIA: A Synthesis of the Science." Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, vol. 25, no. 1, Nov. 2000, pp. 629–684.

Kulshrestha, Umesh, and Pallavi Saxena. Plant Responses to Air Pollution. Springer, 2016.

Lave, L. B., and E. P. Seskin. "Air Pollution and Human Health: The Quantitative Effect, with an Estimate of the Dollar Benefit of Pollution Abatement, Is Considered." Science, vol. 169, no. 3947, 21 Aug. 1970, pp. 723–733.

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